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10 Night Mexican Riviera Cruise from San Francisco

10 Night Mexican Riviera Cruise from San Francisco

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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    San Francisco
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Puerto Vallarta
  • Day 6
    Manzanillo
  • Day 7
    Mazatlan
  • Day 8
    Cabo San Lucas
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    San Francisco

Grand Princess

Grand Princess - Princess Cruises

Pros

Offers affordable mix of sailings from the U.S. West Coast

Cons

Older ship shows signs of wear; crowded public spaces

Bottom Line

Great choice for older couples and multigenerational groups


Cruise Reviews

Organized embarkation. Had lunch at buffet and luggage was waiting in room. I always practice extreme sanitation— wipe down room (doorhandles, light switches, remote, desks, patio furniture, bathroom), frequent hand washing, no ... Read More
Organized embarkation. Had lunch at buffet and luggage was waiting in room. I always practice extreme sanitation— wipe down room (doorhandles, light switches, remote, desks, patio furniture, bathroom), frequent hand washing, no touching handrail/elevator buttons (elbow) and being very selective about exposure to crowds. Did not get sick, and I notice this cruise did not have a lot of sick coughing people by the end of cruise (sorry, but that’s been the norm). This is our 11th cruise, all on Princess, and the 4th on the Grand. It was our 50th anniversary and did not disappoint. We made it restful and relaxing and did not overdue things. FOOD: First, I want to compliment the food. Where do these reviewers normally eat that they find the Princess food below standard? There are so many places and things to eat on the ship, how can you not find something? We started in the buffet— even mundane things like rice or carrots were perfectly cooked and seasoned. The pasta was al dente. The buffet had some basic things that would be there every time, and many things were switched out. A seafood salad contained shrimp, baby scallops, oysters with no grit– sweet! The Grill (hamburger stand) had great offerings, this time including tacos, and a pizza stand. We didn’t eat there, but our travelmates did. Alfredo’s Pizzeria is gourmet. More selection than in the past, and they will customize, ie: adding pepperoni to your vegetarian pizza. The International Café is perfect for a light snack. The main dining rooms were great with a mainstay menu on the left, and changing offerings on right. I love the salmon and am hard-pressed to stay with it or try something new. Service is still slow and harried– they’re too busy. We did not see any lines except when passengers gathered prior to opening, but we also showed up to eat on the later side, around 7, when early diners were leaving. Here’s a secret for anytime dining— go to DaVinci from 7pm on and the maitre D (head waiter) will get you right in. On our anniversary night, we ate in the Crown Grill and it was stupendous! They now limit the steak and lobster and have a $10 additional fee to have both. Probably from that cruise our party of 5 ate too many! Food complaints? The coffee cards are different. We brought an unfinished card from the last cruise and it was ‘confiscated.’ The barista keeps them in a cup and punches them each time you order. When that card was used up, we purchased another, calculating using the last on departure morning. Otherwise, you’re out of luck! And there’s so much card swiping and key entry on the part of the barista it was hilarious– what industrial engineer thought that up? You can’t get a large orange juice in the buffet— have to order 2 small. I’ve been a critic of the 2 sink hand-washing station in the buffet but it is closely monitored. It’s still glitchy in that you have traffic heading to the pool, or returning from the rear dining area but it’s not disastrous. I like the ‘smart casual’ dress code in the main dining room. It needs to be more proactively displayed so it doesn’t put the maitre D in a tough spot. On formal night, there were several diners who were not formal; a group of 4 girls next to us were in their bluejeans and Ts, except one had her jammies on. PHOTOGRAPHY: The photogs make you look good. Picked our favorite photos and got digital files too. Included one with Captain John Smith who was very obliging. There were not as many set-ups on formal night, but there would be photogs on ‘casual’ night. Hate the port jackass photos and ducked out of every one. ENTERTAINMENT: CD Steve Campbell was talented. Attended every art event, especially the history or artist lectures, and the auctions. Art Director Henry was a walking encyclopedia. The Crew Show is always entertaining. The last night was a new Princess production, Born to Dance. It was fabulous! No Spanish class, no port lectures. CABIN: The cabin size is fine. You want to hear about my brother’s facilities in the USN? We booked with adjoining travelmates and kept the patio door open between balconies for memorable visiting. There’s shampoo/conditioner, bath wash, soap, lotion, hair dryer. There’s now plug-ins on bedside lamps to recharge phones. I don’t go on a cruise to watch TV, but it’s limited– you select an on-demand program or movie, it plays, then ends until you select another program. The ‘live feed’ includes 2 sport channels, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox but they don’t have ‘news,’ only politicizing. Entry is a swipe of key card, no more mail box or name on room. Greatly reduced ship mail, tucked under door handle. We had a problem with shower temperature water– tepid at best. Reported, argued, and it was never fixed. SHIP: The Grand is in good condition, with the expected rusty places the sea demands. The numerous repainting causes drips on the balcony— painters don’t bother with drop cloths. The elevators can be slow. The sofas in the venues sit too low. The public can lack consideration: jumping on elevator before riders can get off, stopping to have a conversation in an aisle, and please, don’t take your shoes off and put your bare feet on the table!! This was a wonderful, relaxing cruise to a warm place. I’m happy to celebrate with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican ... Read More
We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a snap. We arrived at 1:30 pm, dropped off our luggage and were through check-in and on the ship in our cabin within 30 minutes. There was plenty of staff in all areas: all x-ray security lines were open and staffed (first time). Disembarkation was called right on time and we were out and ready to head home within 45 minutes. We lead hectic lives and look to relax and let go of stress on this particular cruise. This is our 4th time on the Grand Princess (Hawaii & Mexico) and while she is an older "work-horse", the recent spring 2019 refurbishments were nicely done and appreciated. The service all around the ship was great. We were greeted with smiles everywhere. The crew seemed genuinely pleased to be on the ship; no grumpiness or surliness. We ate all dinners in Club Class dining. We enjoy this because of the specialty dishes, the level of service and attention and the more intimate surroundings. Being able to order a steak from the Crown Grill for a nominal fee was a delightful surprise. The specialty pastas and the beef dishes were delicious. I also had salmon from the 'everyday' selection and that, too, was prepared perfectly. We didn't experience any poor tasting food. We're not big on in-room dining or breakfast so our day usually started with 'brunch' at the Horizon Court. There was a wide selection of food choices and while they did seem monotonous by the end of the cruise, the food was well prepared and tasty. The daily assortment of fresh fruit was perfect...best watermelon ever. We ate at Alfredo's Pizzeria, the International Cafe, the Salty Dog and the food was good. An afternoon treat was the soft serve ice cream, which tasted smooth and creamy like ice cream...definitely not ice milk. Entertainment has vastly improved. We attended the nightly shows in the Princess Theater (9:30 pm) and were pleasantly surprised with the improvement in quality of the material and expertise of the performers. I usually pass on a number of shows but not this time. The cruise director and his staff were the best we've experienced. We explored each port on our own as we've been to each one many times and have taken a lot of the tours. Relaxing and letting go of stress included spa time. I got the Seaweed Wrap, Thai Poultice Massage, Reflexology and Bio-metric Facial, spread over the 10 days. I've had each on prior cruises and I look forward to this 'me' time. I was not disappointed. Each attendant was knowledgeable and proficient. Many knots and kinks were massaged away. One thing I wish is that the Grand Princess had a Thermal Suite or Thalassotherapy pool. For swimming and pool time, we avoided Neptune's Pool and headed each afternoon to the Terrace Pool (adults only). It was filled with fresh water and the temperature was refreshing - not too hot or cold. Met a lot of the same people each afternoon; nice social time. We were sorry to learn that the Grand Princess will reposition to Asia next year so this was probably our last time on board. It was a great cruise - a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I specifically wanted to go thru Tracy Arm Fjord and was not disappointed with this cruise. Crew members were amazing, scenery was indescribable and passengers are now considered friends. We enjoyed exploring Sitka alone while ... Read More
I specifically wanted to go thru Tracy Arm Fjord and was not disappointed with this cruise. Crew members were amazing, scenery was indescribable and passengers are now considered friends. We enjoyed exploring Sitka alone while participating in excursions in Haines and Juneau. Disappointed with the minimal time available in Victoria, Canada but I hadn't expected to want more time. What a beautiful area. Whale watching in Juneau is a must and we thoroughly enjoyed the salmon bake. Unfortunately that was the same night the ship served Alaskan crab. The ATV excursion was a great adventure for Haines. All of our side trips were thru the cruise line, my husband would not have been ok with the possibility of missing the ship. Our room was clean and the bed was very comfortable. We even commented on needing the pillows at home. Space was sufficient for the two of us. We packed so many clothes it was embarrassing. The laundry facility was just down the hall. Breakfast room service was lacking with only cold croissants or muffins and fruit as an option. We did order cookies and milk one night but the cookies were also cold and the milk room temperature. I would say the food was average for a cruise but still very good. Loved visiting the Crooners Bar and the Intl Cafe. The one standard daily complaint is EFFY. My stars every time I turned around they were pushing jewelry on you. Entertainment was great and enjoyed talks from Tess about the glaciers, the area and wildlife. This was a big plus. We did not go to Ketchikan so we didn't get to enjoy the lumberjack presentations that are so widely advertised. We would have loved to see that even not going to that port but the totem carver was good too. We loved it. When we go back e will do a land sea tour. The two plus sea days could have been spent somewhere on land enjoying Alaska instead of on the boat eating. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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